Gradia is reforming learning and working life

Access to a skilled workforce is one of the most important criteria for success and when selecting a company's domicile. Attractive vocational education and training (VET) plays a key role in regional success. The Jyväskylä Educational Consortium is now strongly reforming its operations.

The Jyväskylä Educational Consortium will be called Gradia starting from 2018, replacing the previous ao name and logo. Gradia, which is owned by 12 municipalities in Central Finland, is going through major changes in other areas, too, as the funding and legislation regarding VET is also about to change. The
goal is to make VET respond to future skill needs and changes in working life more quickly.

Gradia is Finland's third largest provider of upper secondary education, and it also offers general upper
secondary education and basic education. About 23,000 students study at Gradia, and every year as many as 17,000 of them acquire the needed practical skills through internships or are completing their vocational qualifications while working. The impact on the region's labor market is significant.

Gradia is a wide-ranging organization offering versatile and flexible learning paths tailored to suit students' individual needs. Students can apply for further training after graduation, studies can be combined with work, and there is training available for those studying for their first job, for those interested in career change, as well as for those in need of updated in-service training.

Gradia's home is in Central Finland, but training is also provided on national and international grounds. In-house company training is organized in close cooperation with the companies and in locations where the actual work is done. The starting point is always the real need of the company relating to recruitment, Human Resource Development or even changes to SME shareholders.

Valmet, for example, has been provided with recruitment training and personnel training related to maintenance, product manufacturing and machinery. The training has led to a vocational qualification or it has covered further, updating or license training courses. Similar cooperation is often conducted with a number of companies and organizations, such as Stora Enso, Kiitolinja, Moventas, the Central Finland Central Hospital and the City of Jyväskylä.

Gradia trains professionals for regional business needs. Currently, the change in working life requires new
experts in the social and health sector, the forest industry, the construction industry, business, logistics as well as machine and production technology, just to name a few examples. The on-going national Social and Healthcare Reform also creates new needs for skill updating. The Social and Healthcare Reform provides opportunities for new entrepreneurs, and that is why Gradia is already organizing vocational qualification studies for entrepreneurs in that sector. When it comes to promoting entrepreneurship, Gradia is one of the leaders in Finland. There are several practical training courses available for entrepreneurs and for those willing to start a career as an entrepreneur.

Finnish vocational education and training is in high demand around the world. Gradia has been taking
vocational studies to the international market for years, and since 2016, it has carried a test license to sell
vocational competence-based qualifications. After the first sale, teaching assistants are now being trained
in Qatar. Training in the Business and Administration sector is being organized in Shanghai, and Gradia has
also been training the staff of Russian forestry companies for years.

Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia

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Established: 1960, the first schools already in the 1860s
Field: Upper Secondary General and Vocational Education and Training, Basic Art Education and Basic Education Gradia – keep upgrading!